Just over a year ago, Fairlight began integrating its QDC (Quad Digital Channel) technology into its existing product line, enhancing the performance, speed, audio quality, graphics resolution and DSP power of its Merlin, MFX3plus, Fame2 and Prodigy2 systems. Now, Fairlight has taken the power of QDC and combined it with Binnacle Editing — a revolutionary approach to high-speed workstation ergonomics.
Set for unveiling at this month's AES, the result is the D.R.E.A.M. (Digital Recording, Editing And Mixing) line of high-performance, multichannel/multiformat products. Components within the D.R.E.A.M. family include the D.R.E.A.M. Satellite (a stand-alone editor), the D.R.E.A.M. Station (an integrated editor/mixer with expandable fader modules) and the D.R.E.A.M. Console — an integrated mixer/editor presented as a large-format digital mixer. The D.R.E.A.M. family is designed to operate as a team or independently.
Named after the housing of a ship's compass, Binnacle™ centralizes editing and transport functions around a jog wheel, offering a choice of one- or two-handed editing, reducing required editing keystrokes by 30% to 50%. According to the company's president, John Lancken, “Our goal was to make the technology an extension of the creative professional.” Fairlight developed the Binnacle process by observing end-users in the real world, and then adapting their needs to make the editing process as natural as possible.
Binnacle has dedicated keys for transport and range, play/jog, jump, from/to, copy, cut, erase, trim/slip and fade. The controller's illuminated key switches, with tri-color LEDs, indicate the currently selected operating mode at a glance. Additionally, a BLUE function provides single-key shortcuts to frequent operations (such as doubling the speed of jog operations), while Binnacle's Finger Memory feature lets users “play” keystrokes like a musical instrument, using both hands for ultra-fast speeds.
Although the D.R.E.A.M. Satellite is the entry-level product in the family, its feature set is far from stripped down. This 16, 32 or 48-track workstation offers 96kHz/24-bit audio quality with a choice of analog and/or digital I/Os, all compatible with both QDC-based and MFX3plus-based project formats. Standard features include 4-band EQ, built-in machine control, Media Link Networking compatibility, full Binnacle editing, and support of 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz sample rates, along with pull-up/down of 44.056, 44.144, 47.952, 48.048, 95.904 and 96.096 kHz. An optional SRC I/O module has a 0.33x to 3.0x system range from 8k to 108k Hz.
D.R.E.A.M. Station, a fully integrated editing/mixing system, offers up to 48-track recording/editing, plus eight live returns, mixing to any format up to 7.1, moving touch-sensitive controls and control surface expandability via customizable sidecars. Mix capabilities include full automation of all functions, 6-band channel EQ, comprehensive dynamics processing, full control room monitor switching and multi-destination talkback routing; every bus has full bus dynamics and EQ, as well as insertion capabilities. For surround production, users will appreciate panning facilities such as Diverge, Spread and Rotate; and sophisticated grouping functions for creating linked, multiformat audio sources and fader/bus groups. With third-party plug-ins rounding out the effects processing capability, a complete medium-scale editing and mixing facility can be equipped with a D.R.E.A.M. Station and a pair of powered monitors.
The D.R.E.A.M. console consists of a range of control surface elements driving Fairlight's acclaimed QDC engine fitted with four QDC channel cards. The console is available in various chassis sizes, each of which may be configured with a choice of fader numbers, Central Assignment Panels and meter bridges. A fully configured D.R.E.A.M. Console has 48 tracks of Binnacle editing integrated to 96 audio channels, 6-band EQ, two-stage dynamics, 48 returns and 48 aux inputs (a total of 192 inputs), and comprehensive multiformat monitoring. Its multiformat busing structure allows simultaneous generation of multiple formats up to 7.1, with individual level trims for each independent mix; buses can be mixed for stem-based work. The console offers the same EQ, dynamics and plug-ins capabilities as Station, but on a much larger scale, with full compatibility between the platforms.
“D.R.E.A.M. is the result of years of technology development and monitoring the changing needs of the post-production and multimedia markets,” Lancken concludes. “Our intent was to provide a flexible, scalable solution that works in any-sized facility, in virtually any audio post market.”
Fairlight USA, 844 N. Seward Street, Hollywood, CA 90038; 323/465-0070; fax 323/465 0080; www.fairlightesp.com.